Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM)
Explore Actun Tunichil Muknal at Blancaneaux Lodge, one of Belize’s main inland attractions. Ranked as one of the ‘Top 10 Caves in the World’ by National Geographic Magazine, the cave trip starts with a 70-minute drive from Blancaneaux Lodge followed by a 40-minute trek through the Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve to the cave entrance. ATM Cave in Belize is only recommended for those of an adventurous spirit who have a good level of fitness. The underground stream flows out of the cave and it’s necessary to take a short swim into the cave (water depth is about 12 feet). About three hours is spent inside the cave and it’s necessary to squeeze through some tight spaces and climb over rocks to reach different levels. The rewards are worth it. Two small carved stelae are located above the stream, one carved in the shape of an obsidian blade and the other a stingray spine. On the next level lies the cave’s most famous occupant, the crystal maiden, a victim of ritual sacrifice from the Late Classic Period.